Following publication of a study by the Health Protection Agency which shows an increase in cases of infection of HIV in people aged 50 and over, the Public Health Agency has called on people to remember that HIV can affect anyone.
Dr Neil Irvine, Consultant in Health Protection for the PHA, said: “The study highlights the need for raised awareness in this age group and emphasises the importance of the safer sex message for everyone. The study also found that these older age groups tended to be diagnosed later in the course of their infection, which is associated with a worse outcome. I would therefore stress the importance of seeking advice from your GP or a GUM clinic if you think you may have been at risk.
“The spread of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections can also be reduced by using a condom every time you have sex and limiting your number of sexual partners.”
Human Immunodeficiency Virus or HIV is found in the blood, semen and vaginal fluids of an infected person. It can be passed on through unprotected penetrative sex, sharing needles to inject drugs and from a mother to baby before or during birth, or by breastfeeding.
Contact the PHA press office: 028 9031 1611.